Were you injured in a boating accident in Fort Lauderdale, FL? You may be entitled to compensation for your lost earnings, medical bills, and more.
Hollander Law Firm, P.A. has represented boat accident victims in Broward County since 1996. Contact our Fort Lauderdale law office to schedule your free consultation with a Fort Lauderdale boating accident lawyer to discuss your case. We are available 24/7 at (954) 287-0566.
How Hollander Law Firm, P.A. Can Help You After a Boat Accident in Fort Lauderdale
A boating accident can be life-altering. If you were hurt due to a negligent boat operator, you have the right to seek compensation for the damages you sustained. However, recovering the full compensation you deserve is not always easy. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale will help you seek maximum compensation to move forward with your life.
Hollander Law Firm, P.A. has recovered tens of millions of dollars on behalf of injured clients. Our law office puts the resources of a large law firm on your case with the personal attention you deserve.
Choose Hollander Law Firm, P.A. to represent you in your Fort Lauderdale, Florida, boating accident case, and we will:
- Offer guidance and legal advice to help you make informed decisions
- Handle all paperwork and communications
- Investigate your accident to gather crucial evidence
- Work with specialists as needed to accurately value your damages and build a strong, evidence-based negligence case
- Fight back against attempts to blame you for your accident
- Negotiate on your behalf for a fair settlement
We are not afraid to take your case before a jury to seek the compensation you are entitled to. Call Hollander Law Firm, P.A. to schedule a consultation with a boat accident lawyer ready to help. You pay nothing out of pocket and no attorney’s fees unless we are successful.
How Common Are Boating Accidents in Fort Lauderdale, FL?
Florida has over 961,000 registered boats, more than any other state. It’s also estimated there are up to one million unregistered vessels on Florida waters. Fort Lauderdale is the world’s yachting capital with over 50,000 registered yachts and over 100 marinas in the city. With more than 300 miles of waterways, 24 miles of beaches, and tens of thousands of boats on the water, it’s no surprise that boating accidents are common in Fort Lauderdale and Broward County.
Broward County in 2019 ranked as the 7th worst county in Florida for boat accidents. There were 30 boat accidents reported in 2019, down from 100 boat crashes in 2016. These accidents caused 19 injuries and one death.
Across the state, there were 723 boating accidents in 2019, 54 of which resulted in fatalities. Of these fatalities, 43 were due to drowning and 12 were caused by trauma. Over 50% of fatal accident victims were ejected from the boat, 88% were not wearing a PFD, and 43% could not swim.
The 2019 Boating Accident Statistical Report released by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission sheds further light on boat accidents in the state. According to the report, most boating accidents involved watercraft between 27 and 40 feet in length and vessels 41 to 65 feet in length. This included cabin motorboats, open motorboats, and personal watercraft.
Personal watercraft or PWC accounted for 14% of registered vessels in the state but 26% of reportable boat accidents. Rented PWC accounted for 43% of all boating accidents involving PWC. These accidents caused 6 deaths and 169 injuries.
Of the 2019 boating accidents in Florida, 205 out of 723 involved a collision with another vessel, while 122 involved a crash with a fixed object. Around 115 of these accidents involved a fall overboard.
What Is My Boat Accident Case Worth?
The value of any personal injury case is highly dependent on the circumstances of the accident and your personal losses.
There is no easy way to calculate what your claim may be worth as it may depend on:
- The amount of insurance coverage available
- Whether you contributed to your accident
- The permanence, type, and severity of your injuries
- Whether you are able to return to work
- Whether you need long-term medical care
- The circumstances of the accident
Contact Hollander Law Firm, P.A. for a free consultation with a Fort Lauderdale boating accident attorney to discuss what your case may be worth.
What Kind of Damages Are Available to Boat Accident Victims?
If someone else caused your accident, you may be entitled to three types of damages. Economic damages compensate for the financial losses you suffered. Non-economic damages compensate for the personal losses you suffered. Punitive damages, in rare cases, may be awarded by a jury to punish the defendant for egregious conduct or reckless disregard for human life.
You may seek compensation for the following:
- Property damage
- Medical bills, including future medical expenses
- Lost wages and diminished earning capacity if disabled
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If a loved one was killed in a boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim. This type of claim allows surviving family members to seek compensation for the damages they suffered.
Can I Recover Compensation if I’m Being Blamed for a Boating Accident in Fort Lauderdale, Florida?
If you are being blamed for your boat accident, you can still recover compensation. Florida uses a pure comparative negligence rule, which allows you to recover compensation even if you are mostly at fault. However, the compensation you recover will be reduced by your percentage of assigned fault.
Do not let an insurance company unfairly blame you for the accident. Hollander Law Firm, P.A. has decades of experience fighting these attempts and builds strong, evidence-based negligence claims to hold the responsible party accountable.
We’ll Fight to Recover Compensation for All of Your Boating Accident Injuries
At Hollander Law Firm, P.A., we understand just how serious a boating accident can be. Victims are often left with serious injuries, such as fractures, head injuries, and lacerations. Drowning is also common.
Our experienced Fort Lauderdale boat accident lawyers will fight for the full compensation you deserve for injuries such as:
- Lacerations and contusions
- Broken bones
- Head injuries and brain injuries
- Internal injuries
- Back injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Facial injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Many boat accident victims are injured when they are ejected from the boat. However, impact with the boat itself or a fixed object causes most injuries. If you were injured as a boat passenger or from another boat operator, Hollander Law Firm, P.A. will help you seek the compensation you need.
What Causes Most Boat Accidents in Fort Lauderdale, FL?
Boating accidents happen for many of the same reasons as motor vehicle accidents, although there are some unique circumstances involved in these accidents. Many accidents are attributed to boat operator inexperience and intoxication.
In 2019, 80% of operators involved in fatal boating accidents in Florida had no formal boating education. In personal watercraft accidents, 43% of the PWCs were rented, often by tourists or people with limited experience operating a watercraft.
According to the 2019 Boating Accidents Statistical Report, the primary cases of boating accidents in the state included:
- Operator inattention or insufficient look-out: 199 accidents out of 723
- Operator inexperience: 88 accidents
- Speeding: 64 accidents
- Machinery or equipment failure: 71 accidents
- Reckless operation: 36 accidents
- Alcohol use: 35 accidents
- Weather or hazardous water: 56 accidents
Hollander Law Firm, P.A. will help you investigate your accident to determine how it happened and who may be held liable for the harm you have suffered.
How Do I Prove Negligence After a Boating Accident in Florida?
Under Florida law, boat operators are required to obey maritime laws, including rules regarding speed, sobriety, attention, and safe operation. Boat operators may be found negligent through reckless operation, criminally disregarding the safety of others, or a non-criminal violation of boating laws.
A boat operator may be found negligent in many ways:
- Boating Under the Influence, a criminal violation. In 2019, there were 649 citations issued for Boating Under the Influence in Florida.
- Colliding with another boat. Sometimes both boat operators may be found negligent.
- Hitting another boat’s wake.
- Hitting large waves.
- Operator error, such as failing to look-out, speeding in congested areas, or failing to check for swimmers.
- Failing to supply mandated safety equipment.
Depending on the circumstances, multiple parties may be held liable, including the boat operator of the boat where you were a passenger, the operator of another vessel, or even a boat rental company.
Boat operators owe a duty to other vessels, swimmers, and passengers on the vessel. To prove fault, you must show the operator deviated from the duty of care a reasonable person would have exercised.
Your case must show:
- The operator owed you a duty of care,
- The operator breached this duty of care, and
- Their breach caused your injuries
- You suffered injuries or damages as a result.
To establish negligence, Florida boat accident attorneys conduct a careful investigation into the crash. The official investigation and accident report will serve as crucial evidence in your case. This report may also contain observations from officials and their suspicions about the cause of your accident.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Boat Accident in Florida?
The statute of limitations to file a lawsuit after a boating accident depends on several factors. If the accident occurred on waters within the state’s boundaries, the standard Florida statute of four years’ limitations will apply.
If the accident occurred on the Atlantic Ocean, a bay, river, lake, or waters shared between states, the statute of limitations may fall under federal maritime law or Admiralty law. In this case, you may have a three-year statute of limitations.
If a loved one was killed in a boating accident, you may have 18 months to 2 years to file a wrongful death claim.
Do not delay in pursuing your claim, or crucial evidence may be lost. Contact a Fort Lauderdale boat accidents lawyer as soon as possible to protect your claim.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Boating Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Were you left seriously injured after a boating accident? Hollander Law Firm, P.A. will help you hold the responsible party accountable for the injuries and damages you sustained. Contact our law office today for a free consultation with an experienced Fort Lauderdale boating accident lawyer who can help you.